Kira Thompson of Princeton managed to run the table, winning her fourth straight fan favorite and the $500 grand prize as Rock Star 2017, but it was far from a runaway victory.
This year’s phenomenal finals featured six strong singers each performing three songs–including some amazing freestyle interpretations. Debbie Kraulidis of Joliet started the night off singing her choice song from 2016 Tim McGraw’s “Humble & Kind.” LaSalle’s Bob Tieman followed with Disturb’s version of the classic “The Sound of Silence”, before Michael Sphar of Streator wooed the packed house with Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man.” Thompson then showed off her range with Adele’s “Remedy” and Bobbi White from Rock Falls rang Carrie Underwood’s “Church Bells” before Jacque Crossett of Flanagan closed out the first round with Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away.”
At the end of the semifinals each finalist was given a set of lyrics written by judge Sean Walsh. Tonight each showed their creativity by giving those lyrics their own spin. The crowd enjoyed everything from Jack Johnson-esque guitar and Adele-inspired a cappella to straight on rocking versions in the freestyle round.
Finally, each contestant closed with a song of their choice. Bobbi White nearly stole the show with her spot on rendition of Janis Joplin’s “Me and My Bobby McGee”, while Bob Tieman gave his best performance of the contest with Billy Joel’s challenging “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”
When the audience votes were counted and added to the judges’ scores, Thompson was the winner, while Bobbi White came in second and Debbie Kraulidis grabbed third. Now in it’s 11th year, the consensus was that this was the deepest talent pool ever.
One audience member also walked away with a great prize. John “Iggy” Meyer took home a Miller Lite cooler filled with goodies from sponsor Euclid Beverage and will also be enjoying an overnight stay at historic Starved Rock Lodge. Sincere thanks to all our performers for the hard work they put in week after week, to their fans and everyone else who came out to make Rock Star 2017 the best yet!